HERRIMAN — Like many men in their 20s, Scott Bonn spends much of his time in sports: He plays soccer, basketball and golf, and he bowls. He got his start with T-ball, but "at some point in time you’re not accepted because you can’t meet a certain expectation," said his mother, Heather Bonn,
So, when he became eligible for Special Olympics at the age of 8, Scott began to compete with others who have special needs.
"This is serious competition," said his father, Bill Bonn, at the 2012 Special Olympics Utah Summer Games, held June 7-9 at Herriman High School. "A lot of people think, ‘Oh, they’re just passing the ball back and forth, having a good time, sharing the ball,’ but they’re out there in pretty cut-throat competition. They come here wanting the gold medal. You will see them cry when they lose. They want to win. This is very serious competition. They may not have the highest level of skills, but it’s doggone good."
Bill coaches his son’s soccer team, the Comets. Special Olympics has kept Scott "very physically active," Bill said. "Opportunities for physical activity are somewhat limited for people with special needs. And it’s given him companions who truly relate to him at his level. These are his closest friends."
Scott had other friends throughout his school years, "but they haven’t stuck with him a whole lot like these people," Bill said. "Some of these people he has played sports with for close to 20 years."
Scott has another role at the Special Olympics: As a fourth degree Knight of Columbus, he can be found in the color guard that participates in the opening ceremonies.
Off the field, Scott has a part-time job and is active in his parish; he particularly likes taking up the collection on Sundays at Saint Olaf Parish, he said.
He began his ministry as an altar server, as did his three brothers and sister.
"He started in third grade," Heather said. "We don’t know too many other people with Down’s syndrome who are altar servers."
When Scott became too old to be an altar server, the family regularly began to take the offertory gifts to the altar.
"Then one week someone asked him if he wanted to do the collection, so ever since then his usher role has been to do the collection," Heather said. "He is very proud of his role."
While taking up the collection, Scott smiles and waves, and is patient with children who put offerings in the basket, she added, and "when he brings up the offertory he is all smiles and full of enthusiasm."
Scott exhibits many Christ-like virtues: He is extremely loving, forgiving and accepting, he gives of himself and he shares, his mother said. "He brings so much into our lives."